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Some answers from tonight's panel of Financial Advisors:
~If you receive disability, if the employer provides it you must pay taxes (you should receive a form 1099)If it's your policy that is paying you benefits, you have paid for it and the money is tax free.
~The bottom line could be different on your Federal and State returns. New York will give you 'breaks' on income from pensions and social security, so your taxable income could be a smaller amount on the state form compared to the federal form.
~Education exemptions: you can choose one of 3 tax credits (use form 8863):American Opportunity--you can deduct 100% of your first $2,000 and 25% of the next $2,000Lifetime Learning --you can deduct 20% of your first $10,000 spentOn the NYS form, opt for a deduction or a credit
~Estates: In the year of death, two tax forms will be filed, a 1040 for the months the person was alive and the second, the 1041, for the rest of the year, or until the estate is settled. The 'stepped up basis' is the fair market value of the estate at death (not what was paid for items, etc) if non-IRA.
~Students/children filing tax forms: You don't have to file if the income is under $6100, but you may want to, if money was withheld by your employer (you'll get the refund).There's no refund on Social Security moneys withheld. Parents can still claim the dependent deduction.
CNYCentral is also honored that the Central NY Chapter of the Financial Planning Association has received a national award for outstanding achievement, for providing the panelists who answer your money questions. The commendation, for public awareness, reads (in part) "The goals of the program are to promote the value of financial planning and provide pro bono advice.
We are pleased to help provide this public service for our viewers.